With just one day of election sign-ups to go, competition for elected office in Jackson County is heating up, with Register of Deeds Joe Hamilton, Board of Education Chairman Ken Henke and Board of Education Member Ali Laird-Large the only incumbents who will not face opposition — so far.
The Smoky Mountain News went to press Tuesday afternoon, and election filing is open through noon Wednesday, Feb. 28.
County Commission Chairman Brian McMahan, a Democrat, has filed for re-election but will see a General Election challenge from sitting Commissioner Ron Mau, a Republican. Mau’s seat is not up for election until 2020, so he will remain on the board regardless of the election’s outcome.
Commissioner Boyce Deitz, a Democrat, has filed for re-election but will see a General Election challenge from Doug Cody, a Republican and former county commissioner. Cody served from 2010 through 2014 but lost a re-election campaign to Deitz.
Commissioner Charles Elders, a Republican, has filed for re-election but must win Primary Election and General Election contests to regain his seat. Democrat Gayle Woody has filed to run for the seat, as has Republican Jarrett Crowe. Crowe and Elders will face off in the Primary Election.
Sheriff Chip Hall, elected in 2014, does not yet have a Primary Election challenger but will run in November against the winner of a Republican primary contest between Doug Farmer and Brent McMahan.
Two Democrats filed for the office of clerk of court: incumbent Ann D. Melton and challenger Kim Coggins Poteet.
In Haywood County, six candidates have signed up to run for three open seats on the board of commissioners. Incumbents Mike Sorrells and Kirk Kirkpatrick, both Waynesville Democrats, are running to reclaim their seats and will be challenged by Waynesville Democrats Danny Davis and Steven Pless, and Republicans Terry Ramey and Thomas Long. Incumbent Bill Upton will not seek re-election.
Hunter Plemmons, who was recently appointed to the position of Clerk of Superior Court to replace June Ray, and Jim Moore have signed up so far to run for the seat.
Haywood County Register of Deeds Sherri Rogers, D-Waynesville, will be running for another term, but doesn’t have a challenger yet.
Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher, D-Clyde, has signed up to run for a second term.
Three candidates have signed up to run for Haywood County Tax Collector — incumbent Republican Mike Matthews will face challengers Greg West, D-Waynesville, and Andrew “Tubby” Ferguson, R-Waynesville.
All three county commissioner incumbents in Macon — Robbie Beale, D-Franklin, Gary Shields, R-Franklin, and Jim Tate, R-Highlands, — have signed up to run for another four-year term on the board.
So far, Republican Ron Haven is the only challenger signed up to run for District 2 against Beale. Haven served as a county commissioner for District 2 for one term before being ousted by Commissioner Gary Shields during the 2014 election. Haven ran again in 2016 but was again defeated by Commissioner Karl Gillespie.
Sheriff Robert Holland, R-Franklin, has signed up to run and will be challenged by Bryan Carpenter. Carpenter petitioned to run as an unaffiliated candidate, which means he must obtain signatures from 4 percent — or 1,018 registered voters in Macon — to be able to run against the sitting sheriff.
Incumbents for Register of Deeds Todd Raby and Clerk of Court Vic Perry don’t yet have any challengers.
Three seats are up for grabs on the Swain County Board of Commissioners —Democratic incumbent commissioner Danny Burns has signed up to run for a second term.
Democrat Commissioner Roger Parsons, who was appointed last year to fill the vacancy left after the passing of Commissioner David Monteith, will officially run to fill the remainder of Monteith’s four-year term.
Republican Kevin Seagle, who works in the Swain County building inspections department, and Republican Holly Bowick, who works as an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, have also signed up to run for commissioner.
Democratic commissioner Ben Bushyhead, who is finishing up his first term, has signed up to run for commission chairman against incumbent chairman Phil Carson.
Swain’s incumbent Republican Sheriff Curtis Cochran will have competition this year. Democrat Rocky Sampson has signed up to run against him.
U.S. House of Representatives District 11
• Phillip Price, D-Nebo
• Scott Donaldson, D-Hendersonville
• (i) Mark Meadows, R-Asheville
• Clifton Ingram Jr., L-Sylva
N.C. House of Representatives District 118
• (i) Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville
• Rhonda Schandevel, D-Canton
N.C. House of Representatives District 119
• Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville
• Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City
N.C. House of Representatives District 120
• (i) Kevin Corbin, R-Franklin
N.C. Senate District 50
• (i) Jim Davis, R-Franklin
• Bob Kuppers, D-Franklin